Summer is officially over. The parties, the traveling and the unbridled fun. The holidays, however, are right around the corner. That means more parties, sugary and fatty foods, alcohol and possibly lots of inactivity. For these reasons, September and October are the perfect months to cleanse yourself before the seasonal festivities. Because let's face it: no one wants to be a party pooper and miss out on all the holiday fun.
Below we'll discuss why detoxing is necessary and a few methods for cleansing while minimizing the suffering.
Toxins are all around us. We inhale them, drink them, eat them and absorb them through our skin. Some we choose to put into our bodies, others are in our eco-system by way of pollution. A newborn baby is said to have around 287 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood. Terrible but true.
Our bodies are magnificent in their ability to filter and expel toxins, yet these systems also become overloaded. The only way to cleanse, is to limit or altogether cease consumption of certain foods/drinks and use natural aids to flush the system. A diet full of easily digestible, high fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables gives our bodies a rest. This allows the cleansing process to begin. Late summer and early fall provide us an abundance of seasonal options. Think melons, apples, cabbage, broccoli, beets and Brussels sprouts. Not to mention pumpkins and squashes.
The real trick to a successful detox is cutting out the bad stuff. This includes obvious things like tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars and empty carbs. But a true detox should also exclude grains, meat, dairy and basically all processed food.
This being said, I believe a complete detox shouldn't last too long. Each individual should consider their own lifestyle and caloric needs. Some people are much more active than others, for example, and thus need more fuel. Try a quick weekend detox to begin with and see how your body responds, and remember to consult your physician before starting any serious dietary changes.
There are plenty of cleanses out there. Some extreme and some gentle. Here, in our opinion, are some of the best.
This is a serious commitment. The Master Cleanse consists of drinking a mix of water, cayenne, fresh squeezed lemon, rich maple syrup... and that's basically it. You should also drink a quart of warm salt water every morning, and a laxative tea every evening. If you want to go the hard way, this is it. Just make sure you have no serious commitments for the cleansing period (minimum 10 days); you won't be feeling exactly chipper. I know someone who followed this plan for almost two months (we don't recommenced doing this).
Raw Food Detox Diet
Cooking our food typically reduces its nutritional value. Although some foods need a bit of heat to break down their thyroid inhibiting compounds, like broccoli for example (though fermenting also achieves this). Eating raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is a great way to give your system a break. There is a whole raw foods movement these days. Some of the raw desserts I've tried where absolutely delicious, considering they were dairy, sugar and bake-free. The issue with creating complex raw recipes, is time. There is a lot of prep and pre-planning necessary. In my opinion, for short term cleansing, keep it as simple as possible.
Popular in recent years, the Juice Cleanse is exactly what it sounds like: drinking nothing but fruit and vegetable juice for the detox period. By consuming food in liquid form you give your digestive system a break. The trick here is to avoid the sugar spike caused by consuming too much fruit juice. Try to drink more vegetable than fruit, adding perhaps one apple or orange to your blend for taste. As with all these cleanses, the missing ingredient is typically protein. Fortunately, moringa leaf powder contains 18 amino acids, including 9 essential, making it a complete plant protein. You can simply mix a spoonful into your juice.
Tea detoxes are all the rage. Instagram is full of teatox companies promoting their herbal mixes. And based on some before and after photos, it seems they do work. Well at least in helping people lose weight. Their detox structures typically include meal plans and promote a balanced diet and regular exercise. They may be a fad, but drinking natural, herbal teas certainly has health benefits, and people have been doing this for thousands of years.
Whichever detox you decide on, and there are many, be sure to listen to your body. You'll no doubt be cranky, and will likely spend much more time at the bathroom than normal. This is OK. This is part of the process.
Most importantly we must remember to try and make healthy food choices daily; eat naturals foods as much and as often as you can, not only as a diet. And don't forget, of course, to enjoy the holiday feasting once the cleanse is over (with some restraint). After-all, there's no shame in enjoying oneself. In fact it's healthy!
Curious about moringa's miraculous health benefits? Read more